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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Us 22, Romney 15, Joe 10, Rangers 9, Chuck Todd 9, George W. Bush 9, Mika 8, Willie 8, America 8, Massachusetts 8, Yankees 8, Joe Klein 8, Gillespie 7, Jon Meacham 7, John Mccain 7, David Axelrod 6, United States 6, Washington 6, Barack Obama 6, Oakland 5,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    October 4, 2012
    6:00 - 9:00am EDT  

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let's do some e-mails. what do you have? >> biff. way too early trumps at 5:30 a.m. >> i i respectfully disagree. >> early a.m. brainstorming thinking of starting an occupy sesame street movement. >> how about big bird? if you had big bird in the pool last night getting name checked, you made a lot of money at the debate last night. one more. >> diane, debate? what debate? still celebrating the yankees clinching the a.l. east, miguel cabrera getting the triple crown. >> this was a huge deal. people were talking about this at the nationals game yesterday, they had this presidents race. every game, it's been more than 500 races over the last six years at rfk stadium. and teddy roosevelt has never won until right then and there. teddy won. senator john mccain was tweeting his celebration. this was a huge deal in washington. our congratulations to teddy. "morning joe" starts right now.
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>> does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of wall street? because if you do, then governor romney is your candidate. >> i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. i know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and i know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it's just not the case. look, i've got five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping i'll believe it. >> for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan. and now five weeks before the election, he's saying that his big, bold idea is never mind. >> you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas? look, i've been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant, but the idea that you get a break for shipping
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jobs overseas is simply not the case. mr. president, you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house but not your facts. i don't have any plan to cut education funding and grants for people on going to college i'm continuing on growing. is it so critical it's worth paying to china? i apologize, mr. president. i use that term with all respect. okay, good. so i'll get rid of that. >> i don't know what he was doing out there. he had his head down. he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. he had a plan. he was going to dominate the time. he was going to be aggressive. he's going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. he was going to relish the evening enjoying it. the latest thing we got from romney because he said so is you know what i want to do with people when they're poor? shove them into the emergency room. why didn't obama say that? you talk about social security and medicare people, they're part of your 47%. you want to drop them from the list of eligible americans. you don't have any care for these people.
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what are you talking about? we've got it on tape, governor. we've got it on tape what you think of these people. don't come out here and pretend you care about old people because you met somebody at some campaign event. you've written off 47% of the country before you even started. where was obama tonight? romney, i loved the split screen. staring at obama. addressing him. like the prey. he did it just right. i'm coming at an incumbent. i've got to beat the champ and i've got to beat him tonight and i don't care what this guy moderator whatever he thinks he is because i'm going to ignore him. what was romney doing? he was winning. >> he was winning. >> all right. good morning. it's thursday, october 4th. welcome to "morning joe." wow! page turns a bit. with us on set, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle and national affairs for "new york" magazine and political analyst john heilemann. and in nashville, i love nashville, pulitzer prize-winning historian jon meacham.
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meacham. should we go right there? >> in one second. i've -- we've got to set this up first for mike barnicle. we've all been saying the same thing. phone calls coming in last night from my democratic friends, independent friends, republicans, everybody's been asking the same thing, where did this come from? we've never seen this mitt romney before, but you say you have. >> yes, this is how mitt romney became governor of massachusetts in 2002 during a series of debates. he was exactly this way as he was last night. he came in prepared. he had a plan. he executed it. he was armed with specific information. he went right at the opponent. then it was shannon o'brien running for governor against him. and he did that again last night. effectively. >> and willie, he seemed, for the first time, comfortable in his skin. you know, we've been pounding mitt romney despite what chee-to eaters thought on the internet because he's had a horrible, horrible month. he was uncomfortable in his skin. last night, that guy was -- and
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bill kristol said it, i agree -- the best republican debate in 20 years. i'd say you have to go back to 1980 to find a better republican presidential debate. i don't know where mitt romney's been, but my god, he showed up last night. >> for all the talk about zingers and everything else coming in, he was comfortable. his jokes were funny. he wasn't forced. he wasn't stilted. and he came with information. there have been complaints over and over -- we've made them here -- that this campaign's been about nothing. that was an incredibly substantive debate on both sides. >> it was. >> two smart guys with two very different visions of america having an actual debate. >> willie, i'm so glad you said that because the middle of the debate last night, we've been trashing both camps for saying nothing. and i looked up at the screen, as dysfunctional as american politics are, and i went, oh, my god, we've got two really intelligent guys here. >> exactly. >> one guy that's been extraordinarily successful in the business world and the other that's been extraordinarily successful in the political world, and they're fighting out two world views. >> i got the sense, though, that
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president obama was not ready for this mitt romney. you could see it on his face. i think he was going to have an easier time. romney was well prepared, john heilemann, he came with facts, his argument. you may not agree with all of them, but in terms of pure debating, he outdebated the president. >> there's no question. you know, there's two stories here, right? one was that mitt romney brought it and brought his "a" game. he prepared a lot for this debate. and it showed. and he executed, as mike said, he had a plan, he had a strategy, and he went out there and got it done. then there's the other story which is the president's incredibly passive performance. the body language was really striking, you know. governor romney really engaging with him, engaging with the audience. president obama looking down through a lot of the debate. i actually had this memory of 2008 where remember the first debate with obama and john mccain where mccain did not make eye contact through much of the debate with obama. we talked about that a lot. obama not making eye contact
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with romney a lot. looking down, surprised by romney's strength. and just monot engaged. >> so he was intense. he leaned in. it was like he had a lot of coffee before the debate. and he just was going after the president. my question for you, joe, is why can't he transfer this to the campaign trail? why wouldn't that work? it was great. >> i think that's what everybody said last night. i think he was very comfortable last night talking about facts, talking about information. i don't think -- >> he wasn't explaining a lot of stuff. >> going to chipotle just hanging out with the kids. i'm dead serious. >> i'm talking about speeches and rallies, and there are things people want to hear. i bet you the americans watching last night are the same people who go to rallies. they want to hear this stuff. they want to hear more. >> that's a challenge for mitt romney. >> that is a challenge. >> you heard that after everybody got over the shock of how great mitt romney did and how poorly the president did, the next thing was okay, now can he convert this? >> right. can he turn the page? so there was -- everyone was
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saying mitt romney was having a hard time, you know, that this could be rough, this is his moment, can he do it? >> he didn't have a friend out there. >> no one thought he could do it except for one guy. >> who's that? a voice in the wilderness? >> it was just this lonely guy who just stepped out there with his prediction. >> wearing cloth and ashes eating locusts? >> joining us, the man who predicted a game-changing performance by mitt romney in last night's debate, republican governor of new jersey, governor chris christie. chris, you happen to be right. >> good morning, mika. good morning, joe. >> what happened, chris? what do you got a crystal ball? chris christie's krystal ball spelled with a "kar"? >> i don't think anybody else was paying attention. every time mitt romney had his back against the wall and they had a debate, he came out and had a game-changing debate. ask rick perry, ask newt gingrich. every time he's done it.
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and on sunday, i just came out and said exactly what i believed, which was i've seen this guy do this before. and i think he's going to do it again. and he did last night. >> what happened to the president? everybody's stunned. again, his supporters, i think, and it's so strange how the shoe is suddenly on the other foot. we republicans have been so frustrated that mitt romney's not been able to press our case on why the past four years haven't worked. last night you heard democrats so frustrated about the fact that the president couldn't press his case. i mean, why do you think the president was so flat last night? >> you just can't answer that question, can you, joe? >> no. >> i think at the end of the day, governor romney came out, and he seized the argument on the substance. i've heard all kinds of complaints about governor romney. i think he last night came out and said, here's where i want to take america. here's my vision. and i don't think the president
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was ready to answer that. >> yeah. >> and you could tell he wasn't ready to answer it. and i think that's because, again, when you have no record to run on, it's very difficult as the incumbent to then come out there and combat what governor romney did last night. i thought the president had no energy. it didn't look like he wanted to engage governor romney. and the fact of the matter is, you know, you can't beat the champ on points. mitt romney hit a knockout last night. >> yes, he did. new jersey governor chris christie, you are right. you were right about this one. >> i have confidence in this guy. i mean, you know, i've been with him since last october. and like i said, this was no crystal ball moment. i watched him over the last year and a quarter. and every time his back has been against the wall, really against the wall, and it was last night, the guy has come out with a great debate performance. and then you heard mike this morning saying that the same
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kind of thing happened up in massachusetts. look at the guy's history. this guy hasn't been as successful as he's been in everything in his life by not being competitive and being a winner. and that's what he's done. >> all right, governor. >> chris, it's great to talk to you. come on the show sometime. >> you bet i will. >> see you soon. >> i want to hear from meacham. >> that is, though, it's so interesting. you do wonder how he's been this successful, mitt romney, throughout life. and yet he seemed so awkward on the campaign trail. >> like just give it up. >> you saw him in 2002. and boy, he really, again, he showed up last night. >> you know, one little nugget out of last night's debate -- and i'm sure, jon, you picked it up -- is that he spoke about monday morning meetings with the democratic leaders in the massachusetts state legislature. >> oh, that was big, yeah. >> yeah. and that's how you get things done. i don't know whether that resonates with people who are watching or listening, but it's an important facet of who romney is. he just wants to get a job done.
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this is not ideology. >> right. >> this is just observation. >> yeah. no, i agree. let's go to jon meacham in nashville. jon, of course, karl rove last night said listen, you're not going to see -- karl rove, steve schmidt said you're not going to see a huge swing in the polls, maybe one or two points. it's the first of four debates, but it is a great start for mitt romney. but we remember back in 2004, george w. bush got obliterated by john kerry in the first debate. it was one of the worst performances in a debate i've ever seen. remember he asked for the extra time? then he'd just look in the camera and go, it's hard. it's hard. and yet he still won. this is not -- this keeps the game going, right? >> it does. i think -- i kept thinking about mark twain. the rumors of romney's political death were greatly exaggerated, but twain still died. >> well, there is that. god. thank you this morning for that insight.
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>> can we go to breaking news or a developing banner on that one? mark twain, dead. >> still dead. >> still dead. >> but i thought it was as -- i think '04 -- >> you know, he's funnier in central time zone. i'm sorry, go ahead. >> on something. >> you should see the stat yuue they have of willie geist down here. >> it's huge. >> i'm going to cite my -- the person who knows most about politics in my life, my 8-year-old daughter who came in and asked, why is president obama so mad? >> there you go. >> walked by the screen. >> i think that's a really, you know, good way of putting it. it looked as though he was either at the wrong debate, he was in parallel play. and it also looked to me as though he has the classic presidential case of no one has spoken to him that way in four years. and i think that's -- >> say that again. stop and say that again because chris matthews said it last night, that maybe he's heard
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"hail to the chief" one too many times. say that again. >> no one has spoken to him that way -- no one has tried to interrupt him in four years. and i think it showed. >> you're surrounded as president by yes-men and totis. that's what happens. everyone agrees with you. >> that's a little harsh. >> but it's just -- >> i don't think that's the case. >> everyone wants to agree with the president. no one ever says to the president, you know, it's hard to say to the president you're wrong, sir, no one gets in your face, no one interrupts you, no one tries to tell the ref to control the room. everyone is always differential. that's the power of the presidency. he hasn't had an argument since he met john mccain in the third debate in 2008. a real argument of this kind. where you're fighting for time. you're fighting for control of the room. it's just not anything the president ever has to do. >> on a human level -- >> any president. >> that's a great point. any president, any governor, any senator, you're almost indignant that somebody would challenge
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you because you're you. a senator goes six years without anybody really coming at him. but a president, any president, is just isolated, and i think jon's exactly right, that nobody's talked to him this way in four years, and he didn't respond well. >> we all know that the presidency is a bubble that existed in that bubble. we also know anecdotally from your reporting and other reporting that we read continually that there's very little interaction between this president and members of the senate or members of the house. there's very little personal interaction. there's no phone calls back and forth. we don't know really what happens when he has conversations about the legislation pending and stuff like that. but we do know from last night when mitt romney says i don't know what you're talking about, we do know the look that registered on president obama's face was, you know, who are you to be saying that to me? there's another element here as long as we're talking about this, and jon meacham is right,
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that no one has spoken to him like this for the last four years. there's another element that perhaps should be under discussion. the president had no teleprompter last night. he speaks almost all the time off of a teleprompter. forced now to stand on his feet after four years in the bubble, getting pushed back a little. he didn't do too well. he didn't do too well. >> even bill maher had to point out that this was a rough one for the president. he tweeted this. "i can't believe i'm saying this, but obama looks like he does need a teleprompter." >> that's a guy giving $1 million to barack obama. >> let's let the viewer decide on president obama and mitt romney got into it on a number of issues. taxes, debt and what's best for the middle class. take a look. >> this is where there's a difference because governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the bush tax cut, that's another
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trillion dollars and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. that's $8 trillion. how we pay for that, reduce the deficit and make the investments that we need to make without dumping those costs onto middle-class americans i think is one of the central questions of this campaign. >> under the president's policies, middle-income americans have been buried. they've just been crushed. middle-income americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. this is a tax in and of itself. i'll call it the economy tax. it's been crushing. at the same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president. electric rates are up. food prices are up. health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family. middle-income families are being crushed. and so the question is how to get them going again. >> a lot of this is just the visual and style of it, but also he was writing a lot. his head was down instead of engaging when you're debating, i have to say that mitt romney knew how to do that, how to get
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right in there and look right at him and go after. and then he was able to sort of gain control of the narrative, so to speak, because he didn't explain a lot about what he plans to do, especially on taxes. but you were left not thinking of those questions. you were looking at that. >> barack obama looking down, willie, again, looking down here. and chris matthews said last night, what's he doing? writing notes for the next debate? >> right. >> yeah. the split screens were jarring a little bit. one thing to point out, it may not amount to much, but it's worth mentioning is it was a remarkably not only substantive but civil debate. the way they came out. mitt romney's congratulations about the anniversary felt heartfelt. the way that president obama looked at him and nodded quite often. they went at it. they had a smart intellectual debate, but they did it in a civil way. and the one thing, though, that was not there that we took for granted was the 47% comment. i thought that was going to be the theme of the debate. >> my god, why not hammer that home? >> why not?
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why not? >> the bain record. there were a lot of things. i think part of the thing that's going on with president obama was, a lot of his debate prep was designed to make sure that he preserved his main asset in this race, which is his likability. that they know how important that is. he doesn't really like mitt romney at all. he has a lot of contempt for romney. and i think a lot of his preparation was do not show that. don't show -- >> interesting. >> you don't want to beat up on him. you don't want to take cheap shots. try to maintain that -- the likability thing. and i think a lot of it, obama was -- it didn't work because what he was -- he was disengaged out of fear -- out of fear that if he fought with romney, that element of contempt that he has for romney would show through. and so in some ways, he got overprepared to try to keep him from showing these negative feelings he has. and that ended up with him staring down because i think he was afraid on some level that if he looked at romney, he might --
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some of that negative emotion might come through. >> but what was the strategy, not using 47%? are they saving that for something else? because you could do that in a way. you could say i think as president, you're president of all the people. >> i have absolutely no idea. i have absolutely no idea why. i'm surprised jim lehrer didn't ask about it. i was surprised romney didn't affirmatively try to defuse it himself. i was surprised that obama didn't bring it up. biggest surprise for me of the night is that it didn't come up. it's been the dominant thing in our debate for the last few weeks. >> david axelrod is coming up. jon meacham, you look over the past 25 years, 30 years or so, and you look at the republican presidential candidates who all have strengths, they've all been remarkable men in their own way, but not good debaters. you know, republicans have held our breath through the john mccain debates and the george w. bush debates and the bob dole debates and the george h.w. debates.
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again, a great man, a horrific debater. you know, the famous jon lovitz line, "i can't believe i'm losing to this guy." playing michael dukakis. you really do have to go back to ronald reagan to find a republican that was in command during a presidential debate. and i predict that's going to excite the republican base in a way it hasn't been excited in a very long time. we're not used to winning debates like this. >> right. >> i'd even -- i think you're exactly right. and i'd push back even farther. he was better than nixon. and he was better than ford. so you could argue, except for president reagan, governor reagan then, it was, in fact, the strongest republican debate performance in the history of televised debates. the other thing that i find so interesting -- and joe, i wonder what you think about this -- is this was not a tea party message. one of the reasons perhaps governor romney did so well is
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that this might actually be the real governor romney at last. >> yep. >> and it was a very -- people could take me on on this, i would argue that was a mainstream conservative message that could have been largely unchanged except for the tales from 1980 forward. and that is something that's very different. it is, in fact, i think, effective among -- could be effective among undecideds. this is not romney playing to any base. this was a conservative mainstream message. this is the conservative vision of the country. the details will work out. he basically said that. you know, we'll work it out. he offered a couple of options. i think people liked that. i think people will like that as they pay attention to it. >> and isn't it fair to say, joe, that there are some people, some voters out there who are seeing mitt romney kind of for the first time. not like they've been following every second of the campaign for the past year. >> i think so. it goes back to when you get to this level, crazy never wins. you know, people will look at
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mitt romney and say, boy, he's turning his back on the tea party. well, you could go to the other side and say, wow, how are the occupy wall street people going to deal with the fact that this very rich man could be elected president of the united states? you have, you know, once again, the middle seeming to prevail here. at least last night, again, it's just one night, but -- >> just one night. >> i think we all agree, though, this was a winning message for mitt romney. >> winning message, just one night. you saw governor romney finally doing -- he wasn't pretending to be something or someone that he's not. >> yeah. >> that's who mitt romney was. the mitt romney you saw last night, that's who he is. the object of the debate was for the country to give him a second look. he's certainly going that get that second look. in the president's favor, what he's got going for him now is editing. the tapes of the debate last
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night will be edited and voters tonight on the news will see a crisper, leaner version of the debate last night. all the hums and has and looking down, that will be gone. and you're going to decide. >> and mika, a lot of fact checking here. the obama campaign is going to pull out the inconsistencies, and they'll probably start killing him with 30-second ads. there will be parts of this debate that will play against mitt romney as we move forward. but there's no doubt about it, last night, you know what? mitt romney stepped up, just like daisuke at yankee stadium. >> he was perfect. >> exciting, though. >> he was perfect through one. you know who you feel sorry for this morning? >> who? >> the new york yankees. it's like they've been socked -- oh, wait, we're going to spend even more money. i think the red sox have the yankees exactly. you called me out on that. >> daisuke. >> he is untouchable. >> and what about the rangers in first place since april 9th?
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>> whoa! >> oakland. >> and oakland. holy cow. >> the only day of the season the a's were in first place was yesterday. and they won the division. okay. coming up -- >> the mitt romney of baseball. >> david axelrod will be here. also senior adviser to the romney campaign, ed gillespie. also nbc news political director chuck todd and "time" magazine's joe klein. up next, jim vandehei with politico's take on last night's debate. first, bill karins with a take on the forecast. bill. >> good morning to everyone. kind of a messy scene out there in numerous spots. let's start in the mid-atlantic. it's another warm, humid morning, very much like summer. and there's a lot of showers that are now popping up. all the areas of green almost right over the top of washington, d.c., to baltimore up through central pennsylvania. bring the umbrella today, maybe give yourself a little extra time. the fog's not quite as bad today as it was yesterday in this region. but showers and storms in this very warm, humid air mass during the afternoon. now, the worst weather in the country by far today is up in north dakota. a full-fledged snowstorm now
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from grand forks and a little snow beginning now in the fargo area. here's a picture from the university of north dakota, the medical school. you see the snow coming down in the nighttime hours. we're going to expect six inches in grand forks up into north minnesota. first snowstorm of the year. that's also the leading edge of the very cold air. it's 37 degrees this morning in denver. you were warm yesterday. eventually all that cold air is going to move across the country. today in the northern plains, it will reach the east coast of the united states saturday into sunday. so if you like the warm, humid air, enjoy it in the east coast today because it's not going to last for long. washington, d.c., you're one of those spots. you could see highs only in the 50s on sunday. you could be in the mid-80s tomorrow. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway...
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jim, the president began this segment, so i think i get the last word. so i'm going to take it. >> you'll get the first part of the next segment. >> but he gets the first word of
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that segment, i get the last word. let me just make this comment. i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i like big bird. i actually like you, too. i'm not going to keep on spending things to borrow money from china to pay for it. if that's the case, it will always be the best product that people can purchase. >> wait a minute. >> my experience is the private sector typically is able to provide a better product at a lower cost. >> can we -- can the two of you agree that the voters have a choice, a clear choice -- >> absolutely. >> -- between the two of you on medicare. here's the specifics -- >> let me mention the other one. let's talk about the big one. >> no, let's not. >> the last point i'd make before -- >> two minutes is up, sir. >> no, i think i had five seconds before you interrupted me was -- >> now they all know how i feel. let's go to politico, but i have to say, he was good even when he was making a ridiculous point about pbs. go ahead. >> well, the thing is, though, he made an overarching argument
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that every conservative movement conservative i've talked to has been wanting to make. and that is there's a place for government, and there's a place for free enterprise. it was some kind of debate. but boy, jim lehrer got rolled over. >> i think it was the first time in presidential debate history where one of the candidates fired the moderator. got rid of pbs, jim. you're on the chopping block. you're out. let's go to jim havandehei at politico. good morning. >> good morning. >> for our new viewers just joining us, your initial take on what happened last night. the consensus seems to be that mitt romney had a great night. do you feel that way? >> yeah, i don't disagree with anything i heard in the first 20 minutes. i think you cannot overestimate what a big night last night was for mitt romney. you have to think about the mood going into this debate, his own staff, conservative leaders,
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republican elected officials all thought that this was a losing campaign. they were frustrated, and they were voicing it publicly. last night they got the candidate they've been praying for the entire campaign, a guy who was cool, a guy who was clever, a guy who was specific and who was middle-class focused. so what that's going to do, you're not going to have the bellyachi bellyaching anymore from conservatives. you no longer will have donors shutting their wallets shut them completely. you won't have the activists bummed out still bummed out. they'll be excited again. they now saw a president they now they think they can defeat and a candidate on their side they think can do the defeating, and that is huge for mitt romney. the big question is can he complete this metamorphosis? last night was a different mitt romney than we've seen for the last two months. we have to ask ourselves, can he sustain that? it he continue to be likeable and specific? can he continue to defend
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conservative theology in a way that resonates with the middle class like he did last night? the last several weeks, the last couple months say no, he can't do that consistently. that's going to be the challenge for the high command in boston. >> john, romney did have a good night, but he still faces a daunting electoral map. the margin is eight or ten depending on what poll you look at in the state of ohio. how could a night like that chip into that a little bit? >> well, it can chip into it a little bit, but in the end, the president still has that fundamental advantage. the map has always been his advantage and still is. i don't think that romney, for reasons that have nothing to do with his performance, he has problems with voter groups that matter a lot, hispanics, female voters. none of those things got fixed last night. i'll tell you the most important thing that jim alluded to, the biggest risk for romney coming into this debate was that if he did not come out with a big win, the republican donor base would walk away from him, and the money would dry up and the death spiral would begin. this morning we wake up and karl rove and other outside
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republican groups are not shutting their wallets. they're writing checks for him still. and that gives him the life that allows him to continue to be competitive for the next month. >> and karl rove, after the debate last night, you could tell, you know, very excited. he was stunned. he was stunned that mitt romney did that well, and he was stunned that barack obama did that poorly. and i will guarantee you people are calling karl today. they're calling the rnc. they're calling everybody, and they're writing checks. again, mike, this is the first time that republicans have had a reason to be excited in a presidential debate since -- >> no doubt. >> -- '80, '84. >> no doubt. so the question this morning is which romney goes out into the country today? the romney of last night or the romney of the past two months? >> this has to give him a lift, right? >> yeah, a lift, the confidence that he didn't have before, perhaps. we'll see. >> jim vandehei, thanks so much, jim. we'll talk to you later. >> take care. coming up next, it only took them 162 games, but the oakland a's last night caught up and
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passed the texas rangers. >> that's unbelievable. moneyball. >> capturing the a.l. west title on the final day of the season. we'll have that and the rest of the playoff picture in sports. >> the red sox almost did that last night.
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before we get to sports, let's check in with music city, usa, where it's 5:38 in the morning. jon meacham, are you still awake and with us?
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>> oh, hey. >> good. jon, where's lunch today? if i were you, i'd go to rotier's or loveless, but your call. >> i'm a longtime rotier's fan. the other is ledbetter's. >> don't forget, rotier's has american cheese and crackers as their lead appetizer. >> ritz. that's the difference. that's the difference. think of the markup on that. >> that's true. >> so is there a nonstop between new york and nashville? >> oh, yeah. >> it's a bus. >> greyhound. >> you get there in, like, 90 minutes, right, meacham? >> are we going to do sports and get it over with in. >> i love it when barnicle takes a geographical view of anything. >> a guy who's out of boston. if only we in the south could have been as progressive as people from south boston on issues of race. >> yes. thank you, mike. >> all right.
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>> america thanks you. >> we're going to do sports. let's do a little sports. june the 30th, i want to take you back to june the 30th. the a's were 13 games behind the rangers in the a.l. west. yesterday the a's and rangers found themselves, after 161 games, tied atop the standings. so one game for the division title. it was in oakland. here's what happened. let's go to the highlights. tied at 5-5 in the fourth, two on, two out for rookie phenom jonas. >> what just happened there? >> looks like a routine fly ball. josh hamilton, i don't know what happened there. off his glove. two runs come home to score. rangers led by as much as four runs, now down. ninth inning, comfortable lead. grant balfour gets the final out of the game. time to celebrate. the a's win 12-5 taking the division title. they join the 2006 minnesota twins, the 1951 new york giants as the only teams whose lone day
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atop the division was on the final day of the season. the rangers spent 178 days in first place this season. that's the most in the divisional era without winning the title. of course, they do get to go on and play in the wild card. front page of "the san francisco chronicle," "all about the a's. how the west is won." yankees could clinch the a.l. east with an orioles' loss or a win over the red sox. daisuke dealing. >> perfect through one. >> batting practice at yankee stadium. >> groomed one to curtis granderson. a towering three-one home run. yankees up 3-1 there. two home runs for granderson. robbie cano gets one of daisuke's offerings. >> oh, my lord. >> a big game for cano as well. >> landed in billy mitchell's car. >> two-run shot there. 1 of 2 for cano. >> at home plate whenever
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daisuke goes up. >> yankees win 5-1. they were up 5-1. seventh inning, they flash on the board the orioles had lost. without even finishing the game, the yankees had already won the division. celebration after. they win 14-2. clinch their 13th a.l. east title in 17 years. >> well, at least we kept it close. >> the champagne's flowing. ichiro back in the playoffs after an 11-year drought. >> i feel sorry for the yankees. again, you're spending so much money. the red sox fiscally sound, mike barnicle. >> absolutely. >> this has been our best season in years. >> a republican ball club. >> small-government ball club. >> what did daisuke cost? >> daisuke cost $51 million just to talk to him. >> just to talk to. >> and another $55 million to sign him. the good news about daisuke service sayonara yesterday. the last-ever appearance as a red sox. >> was that it? >> yes. >> thank god. >> the playoffs are set. by the way, miguel cabrera -- put the playoffs back up. here you go. so orioles/rangers.
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that's tomorrow night. one game. one-game wild card. >> really? >> yep. one game. that's why you didn't want to fall in. so the winner of that plays the yankees in a best of five. the a's and the tigers. >> hold on a second. see, you know, i'm busy with the kids. >> business of the people. >> i'm doing the business of the people every day. >> i know. >> i had no idea. i've got to get used to that. so that was a huge stakes yesterday. >> yeah. >> not only for the yankees but also for the rangers. >> the rangers lose one, they go home? >> rangers dominated the american league all season, now it comes down to one game and their season could be over. >> that's exciting. >> can somebody mention miguel cabrera. it's kind of worth mentioning. >> he won the triple crown yesterday. he didn't have a good game but he didn't need it. batting average, home runs, rbis, the first triple crown in major league baseball since 1967 when carl yastrzemski did it for the red sox. >> 45 years. >> incredible.
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he'll win the mvp. >> what's next, willie? up next, "mika's must-read opinion pages." she's busy with them as we speak. the capital one cash rewards card
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and up to 580 highway miles on a single tank of gas. ♪ the all-new 2013 chevrolet malibu eco. ♪ it has everything to put you in the malibu state of mind no matter what state you live in. ♪ 47 past the hour. look at that beautiful shot. >> isn't that an amazing song? "she's a rainbow"? >> it is. if you'd just let us listen to it, that would be nice. welcome back to "morning joe" at 47 past. time now for the "must-read opinion pages." >> i've got to tell heilmann, i went to a record shop in mystic, connecticut. >> did you have pizza while you were there? >> i did. this guy, we've got to bring him on the show, but i actually bought satanic majesty's request
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for you. original vinyl. >> you told me that -- you told me that in tampa and i'm waiting for it. i'm looking forward to it. i'm thrilled. >> you guys can talk about that later. >> that's your favorite stones album? >> it's an awesome -- it's an awesome collector's item. the cover is fantastic. >> it's amazing. 3d. he showed me where all the beatles were in there. i had no idea. >> you know better than to engage him like that. >> i actually could talk about music for the next 2 1/2 hours. >> what is wrong -- i just was saying thank you. i was being grateful. >> all right. hey, mika, you know what? why don't we do the "must-read op-eds"? because who wants to talk about music? >> "new york times," an unhelpful debate. the mitt romney who appeared on stage at the university of denver seemed to be fleeing from the one who won the republican nomination on a hard-right platform of tax cuts, budget slashing and indifference to the suffering of those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
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and mr. obama's competitive edge from the 2008 clearly dulled, as he missed repeated opportunities to challenge mr. romney on his falsehoods and turnabouts. there are still two more presidential debates. and mr. obama has the facts on his side to expose the hollowness of his opponent, but first he has to decide to use them aggressively. i think a lot of people felt that way. >> jon meacham, you'd have to go back to the 2004 bush debate. first bush debate to find a clear winner like we had last night. when you have even liberal publications, liberal editorial pages saying that barack obama didn't show up, and mitt romney won it going away. >> i think that's right. and i think -- it's interesting that incumbent presidents, as we've been talking about, you know, are not accustomed to this forum. it's been a long time since he's been challenged like that. i remember president bush,
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george w. bush, was quoted -- used to be quoted as saying, you know, people will be out in the oval office waiting room and they'll say i'm going to go in and tell the president, great texas phrase, what all, and they get in and they say oh, what a lovely tie, mr. president. and i think that's a big part of this. and i think that that's one of the reasons what happened in '04. i think it's probably what happened last night. and one thing we do know, we know that governor romney is a hugely competitive guy. but arguably the only person around more competitive is barack obama. and so there's, you know, this is 30 days out. i would think this would be a much bigger deal in terms of the tactical horse race if this were like 1980. if this debate had been on october 28th, i think this would be a much more -- have much more possibility of being truly transformative. i think it's hugely important, but, again, mark twain is dead. >> all right. thank you for that. let's go to "the wall street
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journal." "romney takes the stage. mitt romney met the challenge of appearing presidential, showed a superior command of fact and argument than the incumbent and made a confident, optimistic case for change. this was easily his finest performance as a candidate and the best debate effort by a republican nominee since ronald reagan in '80. mr. romney kept reminding americans about the unpleasant facts about where we've been as a way of casting doubt on what four more years of mr. obama would be like. but significantly and for the first time, he didn't merely criticize the obama record. mr. romney went further and explained with some specificity how his policies would improve the lives and economic prospects for middle-class americans. the president seemed off his game overall, verbose as he often is, but with his famous restraint seeming more difficult than cool as mr. romney bore in with details about his record. it's clear mr. obama isn't used to someone challenging the attack lines that he uses to describe mr. romney's various
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proposals on the stump." and again, where was the 47%? where was it? he just didn't go there? >> that's the great mystery. >> the thing that's true in both these editorials that i do think one of the president's failures here was not just the stylistic failure, was a substantive failure. mitt romney made a lot of claims last night. he said a lot of things we've never heard from him before. he tried to claim he doesn't want to cut a $5 trillion tax cut. he said that no tax cut he imposes will add to the deficit. that's totally new. he doesn't want to cut medicare. the president let all of that go largely. >> why? >> didn't challenge romney on what deductions and loopholes he wants to close in order to make his deficit plan revenue neutral. those are all things where the president manifestly failed last night, but they are things that the campaign is now going to litigate over the course of the next two weeks. you're going to see -- joe, you talked about earlier, the campaign -- obama campaign going after the inconsistencies, specificity that romney now put on the table that's open to
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attack. and it's going to make for a two-week run of paid and earned media that's going to lead to the next presidential debate here in new york at hofstra two weeks from now. >> and this sets up the vice presidential debate. paul ryan and joe biden. >> that is going to be -- >> people love to say these vice presidential debates don't matter. go back to 2004, they do matter. >> i think this one does. >> and they matter because george w. bush had a very bad first debate. but you know what? dick cheney, sitting down, stemmed that tide and actually gave republicans a reason -- everybody was painting dick cheney as darth vader, as they always do. he sat down and he just absolutely demolished john edwards. it looked like there was an adult and there was a child in the room. and it actually gave the bush campaign new life. >> i think paul ryan represents, i mean, really specific ideas. >> right. >> you know? it's going to be --
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>> i think it's -- and i think it's going to be great. you know, the pressure, actually, i would have never believed i would have said this 24 hours ago. it's going to be on joe biden because they can't have two bad debate performances in a row. then suddenly a one-night story becomes a narrative. right. >> it's a different ball game than four years ago. still ahead, senior advisers to the obama and romney campaigns, david axelrod and ed gillespie join us coming up on "morning joe." ♪ [ male announcer ] finally, mom's oven-baked tastes straight from the microwave. like oven-roasted chicken in a creamy alfredo sauce. marie callender's new comfort bakes. it's time to savor. ♪
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jon meacham, thank you very much. enjoy nashville. it's good to have you on the show. >> thank you, jon. >> you brought so much to the table this morning. >> where are you going to eat again for lunch? >> i'm going to brick tops, but willie's right, rotier's on elliston place is a noble institution. >> been there forever. >> great. still ahead, nbc news political director chuck todd joins us from denver. and next, "time" magazine's joe klein who asks where on earth was the president in last night's debate? keep it on "morning joe." [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls.
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does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of wall street? because if you do, then governor romney is your candidate. >> i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. i know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and i know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it's just not the case. look, i've got five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it, and ultimately hoping i'll believe it. >> for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan. and now, five weeks before the
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election, he's saying that his big, bold idea is never mind. >> you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas? look, i've been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant. but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case. mr. president, you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not to your own facts. i don't have a plan to cut education funding. is the program so credit it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? if not, i'll get rid of it. obamacare's on my list. i use that term with all good. good. so i'll get rid of that. >> welcome back to "morning joe." top of the hour. look at that beautiful sunrise over national airport, reagan national airport. >> the sun is rising over romneyland. >> it's morning in america. mike barnicle and john heilemann still with us. joining us on set, political columnist for "time" magazine, joe klein, who sits down and
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says, where was he? where was he? where was he, joe? >> i may have to get a new accountant and obama doesn't say, mitt, you have a terrific accountant. all of america knows that. you know, you have some wonderful tax breaks there. it was astonishing. >> it really was astonishing performance. >> it was as inept as i've ever seen a presidential candidate in one of these debates. and it was time after time after time. and it's almost as if the obama campaign and the president himself hadn't been paying attention to what romney has been saying since the convention. time stopped at the republican convention. in an interview with my editor, rick stengel, a month ago, romney dropped the hint that he might go after the five big new york banks. by the way, it's a real policy failure that obama never did do that. and obama was completely
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unprepared for a populist mitt romney railing against those big new york bankers. >> now the great example, personal exemptions. if you look at the back of "the washington post" yesterday, mitt romney slipped it in a local interview. >> right. >> on how he was going to start paying for his tax cuts. >> absolutely. he finally provided the specifics. it's a radical plan. the guy says he's going to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable deduction for rich people. i mean, it is -- you know, that's a big deal. and obama wasn't up on it. it was as if his campaign hadn't noticed. >> was it overconfidence on the obama team? what was it? >> god, i don't know. it seemed like overmedication. i mean, he was just so dull. and i also felt that he never made eye contact with me on tv. he was talking to jim lehrer. and he was talking to the audience in the hall. and he was talking to romney. >> did you notice, though, he seemed most comfortable talking
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to jim lehrer. >> yeah. >> wouldn't really look at mitt romney. he was looking down at his notes an awful lot. do you agree with the general assessment that some people made last night -- and i heard this morning on the set as well -- that this president, because of the bubble, is just not used to being talked to that way? nobody's spoken to him that way in fourer ye years. >> i don't know whether that's true. i think in these debate preps, the person standing -- in this case john kerry -- you know, take a certain amount of pride in beating up the president. it's part of the game. but it was a lousy debate prep, clearly. and the other thing is this. he had no response for romney talking about $90 billion spend on green energy. >> let me ask you this question because there's obviously it is extraordinarily hard for a president to adapt to the first debate. in 1984, ronald reagan had a disastrous performance against
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walter mondale. he seemed lost, inept, out of place. 20 years later in 2004, george w. bush's first debate against john kerry, horrific. is there just something about the first time the president steps out of that bubble and gets hit that hard that they're just not -- they're just not ready for it the first time? >> yeah, i think that there really is something to that. i think -- thought that this performance was more like george w. bush's than reagan's. reagan, you know, when you look back on it now, that was the famous debate where he was wandering down the pacific coast highway. >> yeah, got lost. >> i think it might have been the first signs of early alzheimer's. with george w. bush, he had a tough time he was defending a ridiculous and terrible war. and here obama had to defend a very difficult economy. and it was a tough job. >> the thing that you really noticed last night was that, you
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know, mitt romney was -- he was into this, you know? >> yeah. >> he was taking joy in the politics of this. he was psyched to be out there. he had done all this prep. and he was ready to go. you know, there was no joy in president obama in this moment. and i think if you think about the way his -- to go to his debate prep, he doesn't like doing debate prep. and he doesn't do -- wasn't able to do as much of it because he has to be president. mitt romney did a lot of prep. >> and by the way, let's just say here, because i have been pounding team romney for the past month. >> you have. >> since the convention. i have been pounding them. and i'll tell you what. >> we all have. >> we all have. we all have. but you know what? >> he's voting for romney. >> i've been going back and forth with him all week. you know what? i've got a lot of really good friends on the campaign. you couldn't get in touch with them. you know why? because they had him holed up. and team romney, for all the tactical mistakes they've made, wash it away because let me tell you what, they got him ready for the prizefight.
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they did a hell of a job. and mitt romney -- "the wall street journal" said it, bill kristol said it, this was the best performance since 1980. that doesn't happen. >> and he had done dozens of sessions. he relished his sessions and his moment on the stage. as i said, president obama doesn't like doing debate president and because he is president didn't do as much of it. and the combination of not liking it and not doing as much of it, he got out there on stage and i think -- the difference between the two of them and how they approached it from the moment they walked out on stage, it couldn't have been more stark. >> he doesn't like debating. the president doesn't. you could tell, mike barnicle, four years ago against hillary, he didn't like debating hillary. he wasn't great against john mccain. i was prepared for a great debate four years ago. i nearly fell asleep. he just -- it's not his forum. he's amazing on the big stage. he's great when you give him a microphone and he talks to an audience off the top of his head. great. but he just doesn't like this
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format. >> clearly he doesn't like the format. one thing that's going to be interesting is -- and it will play out over the next couple of days -- is the cosmetics of the debate last night. the president of the united states looked as if he thought being there was beneath him on this stage with governor romney. this is beneath me. and you just wonder how that plays out in people's minds as they watch that. >> it's the george h.w. bush watch moment. that's the only thing he didn't do was look at his watch last night. you know, you wrote a book about this guy. you know him pretty well. you know who was watching last night going, i can't believe what i'm seeing? bill clinton's thinking, okay, i saved his convention. do i have to -- i mean, you know bill clinton, along with every other democrat, was pulling his hair out last night. >> oh, yeah. >> so many softballs lobbed barack obama's way that he just didn't take a swing at. >> i think that when you look at those debates four years ago, all obama had to do was to show
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up and to be calm. they were -- we were in the midst of an economic panic. and he showed, you know, a very calm and steady demeanor which was reassuring. but he's never actually had to make a case in a debate. and he couldn't make a case last night. he couldn't even make a case for his own stimulus program. it was astonishing. >> this was each candidate's best and worst on display because the president -- i think a lot of people agree -- debates aren't his strong point and the stylistic part of it is difficult. with mitt romney, even during the primary, even though the competition was clownlike, he always stepped up and was aggressive and was impressive. >> that's right. this shouldn't come as a surprise. >> it's not. it's not. although he was incredibly intense and relentless in his performance last night. >> we have been saying that, mika, that he did very well in the debates. and in fact, we brought it up -- mike and i brought it up a couple of days ago, how sometimes we said, wow! >> yeah. >> he was great. but i will tell you what.
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you can win as many wild card games as you want, but when it's game seven of the world series, that's pressure. i can't imagine walking out, one on one, instead of having seven people, a couple of them, jokesters to deflect off of, when it's one on one, that's when it's extraordinary pressure, and mitt romney stepped up to the plate. >> you know what i don't get? is why -- i guess i understand how this can't translate onto the campaign trail and why he's stiff and awkward with crowds, who cares ultimately? who cares ultimately? but when he does one-on-one interviews, i don't get why he doesn't bring that to the table. >> because he's been careful. he's been careful up until last night, and last night he realized his back was -- his staff all knew. we've got to do well or we lose. >> well, he'd better keep that same demeanor coming out of this debate because as we've said, he's given himself new life now. >> yeah. >> you know, had he failed last night, president obama could
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have ended the campaign, had romney failed. now he has two weeks where between paid advertising, interviews, campaign trail appearances, this romney is the romney that he has to be going forward because if he goes back to being the old romney, the romney that was like self-emulating over the course of the last three months, this will all be wasted. but if he brings that romney for the next two weeks, it will be a different campaign. >> i think he will, mike. >> if you watch mitt romney over 20 years, what you saw last night was mitt romney. you cannot run for president, as he has done for the last 18 months, pretending to be something you're not. >> yeah. >> you just can't do it. it catches up to you. it caught up to him multiple times with self-inflicted wounds. last night, that's mitt romney. >> yeah. >> a planner, an executer, a business guy, semiboring but human. >> and a moderate. >> joe klein -- >> and a moderate. >> and a moderate. >> speaking of which, joe klein, let's go back to 1987 and 1988. i say this all the time.
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but george h.w. bush. a man revered by almost all now. in '87 and '88 was seen as a joke. a guy who would go out on the campaign trail, look goofy because he was trying to be something that he wasn't. when george h.w. bush read peggy noonan's convention speech, he became himself again, it transformed him, and he beat dukakis. this was mitt romney not trying to be the man of the people. this was mitt romney being who -- an extraordinarily successful guy throughout life. >> i have a general rule about this. warm usually beats cold in these debates. and it was very striking to me, i was watching it on my clock, that it took obama over a half an hour before he mentioned an actual individual human being. everything was abstract. in romney's first answer, he was talking about the person that he just met in milwaukee and another person he met here. romney was actually warmer than
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obama last night. >> and what a coincidence that he talked about meeting a person in a swing state he has to win. the stars were just lined up last night. >> toledo. >> it reminds me of the nice little cashier i met in toledo. >> yes. >> do you not think that one of the more interesting story lines today and for the next two weeks is how does the obama campaign react to what happened last night in. >> oh, absolutely. >> we're going to find out. because maybe we're missing something. i can't figure it out. >> listen, i think they'll even admit, mika, that mitt romney had a great night, but they're going to go in. we're talking style here. >> i know. >> because that's what moves debates. they're going to pick apart everything mitt romney said. we're going to see it on 30-second ads. >> and all their inconsistencies. a lot of them. >> there's a lot to pick at now because there's much more specificity on the table, and some of the things romney said last night are vulnerable to attack in new ways, new and effective ways for the
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president. >> too bad he wasn't attacked last night. joe klein, thank you very much. >> thank you, joe. ahead, chuck todd will join us from the debate site in denver. coming up, senior adviser to the obama campaign, david axelrod. and in a few minutes, senior adviser to the romney campaign, ed gillespie. keep it right here on "morning joe." [ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy?
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♪ i don't know what he was doing out there. he had his head down. he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. he had a plan. he was going to dominate the time. he was going to be aggressive. he was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. he was going to relish the evening, enjoying it. the latest thing we got from romney, because he said so, you know what i want to do with people when they're poor? shove them into the emergency room. why didn't obama say that?
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you talk about social security and medicare people, they're part of your 47%. you want to drop them from the list. you want to drop these people. we've got it to tape, governor. we've got it on tape. don't come out here and pretend you care about old people because you met somebody at some campaign event. you've written off 47% of the country before it even started. where was obama tonight? romney, i loved the split screen, staring at obama, addressing him like the prey. he did it just right. i'm coming at an incumbent. you've got to beat the champ, and i'm going to beat him tonight. and i don't care what this guy moderator, whatever he thinks he is, because i'm going to ignore him. what was romney doing? he was winning! >> with us now from denver, senior adviser to president obama's re-election campaign, david axelrod. david -- >> we'll put chris in the undecided camp. >> i'm going to check him off as undecided. do you agree with chris matthews' premise, in all seriousness, where was the president last night? >> well, one thing i would say is that i bet you they were having starbucks wherever chris
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was, too. he seemed a little -- a little overcaffeinated last night. >> maybe just a tad. >> i was on your -- i was on your show. i think maybe last week. and i said that i expected mitt romney to come in and turn in a very strong performance. that's his history. he's been rehearsing for this since last june. and he delivered his lines well. the problem isn't with his performance. the problem is with his underlying theories and some fundamental dishonesty that we saw last night. the president came in, treated people like adults, talked about what we need to do to move this country forward, rebuild the middle class, rebuild this economy. and governor romney came in and basically played a shell game. you guys know this. joe, you used to deal with these issues in congress. he wants to cut personal income taxes by 20%, corporate taxes from 35% to 25%, extend the bush tax cuts and the alternative minimum tax.
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that's $5 trillion, whether he likes it or not, or whether he wants to admit it or not. and he says he's going to do that all without adding to the deficits. how? he didn't say last night. and that's why most analysts have said he's either going to explode the deficits or stick it to the middle class. on medicare, he said we're not going to hurt one senior on medicare by repealing obamacare. he's going to raise -- he's going to cut benefits for seniors across america. he wasn't honest about that. you guys have the tape of him saying we don't need anymore teachers. last night he couldn't say enough about teachers. i don't want to cut teachers. i want more teachers. that's not what he said. so, i mean, again and again and again, he told a story to the american people that is completely in contrast with what he said before and unfounded in fact. and that's going to catch up with him. i think that i give him credit for a strong performance. i give him an "f" for being
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honest with the american people. >> well, if that's the case, david, why wasn't the president able to bring that home? because if i'm in a debate and somebody's lying as much as you say mitt romney's lying, i'd debone them. i'd take them apart. i stop and i laugh. if that is the case, if your premise is correct -- and i, of course, don't agree with it -- but if it is correct, why did the president holdback? because so many progressives from chris matthews to bill maher to michael moore all across sort of the progressive wing of the democratic party, there is great disappointment this morning. >> they're jumping out of their seats watching. >> no, i understand. and i understand the was a hunger for us to attack romney more personally than the president did last night. and the president was talking to the american people about some of these fundamental issues. as i said, treating the american people as adults.
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you know, we're going to continue to prosecute this case because as you saw last night, there are two distinct views of the future and how we get there and how we rebuild the economy, how we rebuild the middle class. i sat through all the republican debates. and half of them mitt romney never even mentioned the middle class. and now he can't do enough for them, for now. but when you look at his programs, he would stick it to the middle class, and he would -- and when you talk about growing the economy and growing jobs, how? you know, governor romney kept talking about it. but he never told us how he would do it. and how does cutting education, and how does cutting research and development, and how does adding $5 trillion, really $7 trillion when you add the defense spending to the deficits grow our economy? i think the american people are going to want to know that. >> willie -- john heilemann. >> david, it's john heilemann here. >> hey, john. >> you're making a very convincing and compelling case. why did the president not make the same case you're making this morning on stage against mitt romney last night?
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>> the president came to talk to the american people about his ideas and where we go as a country, john. there's going to be -- there will be more debates. and we have more of an opportunity in the next 30 days to continue to bring these facts to the attention of the american people. and i would just say to you and to your whole crew, because i know you have a powerful influence on the political scene. you guys have an obligation as well to check some of these allegations. everybody is very dazzled by the fact that mitt romney came in with some well-rehearsed lines. but now we have to sit back and say what is it exactly that he said, and is it true? i know andrea mitchell did a good fact check on your air about this tax issue and how bogus his claim was that he's not supporting a $5 trillion tax cut that he can't pay for. so all of these issues are going to be discussed over the next 30 days. and i think the american people will sort it out. and they're going to make the right decision.
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>> you talked to the president after the debate last night. was he satisfied with his performance? >> well, like i've said before, the president's never satisfied with his performance. he's always challenging himself, and he will -- this, he'll review it, and if he wants to make some changes in the next debate, he'll do so. what he was satisfied with is that he went and he told the american people the truth. and i think he's fairly well convinced that governor romney didn't meet that standard. so, you know, that's going to be an issue in these coming 30 days. you know, you can't -- you can't tell the american people up is down and down is up and ignore your history and ignore your statements. you can't square the circle, and governor romney is going to be held accountable for that. >> david, good morning, it's willie. one thing a lot of us watching were surprised by last night and a lot of your supporters are frustrated about this morning was that the president didn't go
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to that 47% theme. it's something we've heard over the last couple of weeks time and again on the campaign trail out of your campaign, and yet it didn't come up last night. was that a calculated decision? it seemed like the most obvious thing that we expected to hear, and yet we didn't hear it. >> no, it wasn't a calculated decision. i think the president's belief is that that's something that's been very much part of the fabric of the discussion. people understand that. and the president was answering the questions he was asked about the issues facing this country. i think a lot of folks who were tuning in -- i understand that our strong supporters feel very, very strongly that romney should -- that we should have plowed in on the 47% on his tax returns, on bain and so on. i think most people who were tuning in were more interested in their lives and their future, and that's what the president was discussing, and doing it in an honest way, talking about how we actually build the economy in a responsible and balanced way that offers the most hope for
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the middle class. that was the decision that he made last night. and now we move forward. >> david, there's an isolation to the presidency certainly, and there often is an isolation, a bubble, if you will, even to campaigns. to people running campaigns. so today, in light of the debate last night, a lot of people are going to work, and they're thinking about, you know, the oakland a's or the fact that their kid got a "c" instead of a "b" in math. they're not waiting around for the fact checkers to check in with what happened and what was said last night. so what is the obama campaign's plan to deal with what happened last night? do you change anything? do you go more on the attack? what do you do? >> well, mike, i think you're right, people are consumed by their lives and their concerns, and those folks driving to work with worrying with their kids with a "c," and the president
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was addressing that last night. we're going to continue to address that. are we going to hold the governor accountable for his fraudulent positions? yes, we're going to do that. are we going to hold him accountable for plans that would essentially repeat the mistakes of the last decade, exploding the deficits, giving wall street a blank check to write its own rules? yes, we're going to do that. we owe that to the american people. and we're going to give them a clear sense of what the distinctions are in this race. >> david, real quickly, i'm going to read a text i got from a self-described blue-collar middle-class american from lancaster, pennsylvania, about last night's debate. "i'm not as scared as romney as before. i'm getting tired of the tired nonchalance the president appears to have when discussing the economy." are you concerned he wasn't maybe agress everybody enough and pushing back enough against some of the inconsistencies that
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romney put on the table last night? >> well -- >> for those folks. >> i think that -- that blue-collar person in lancaster, what they need to be concerned about -- and what we need to do is make sure that they know is exactly what governor romney's inconsistencies, as you put them, and what his positions actually mean for them, what it means in terms of the higher taxes they're going to have to pay, what it means in terms of the reduced protection they're going to have vis-a-vis their financial transactions, ha it means in terms of their health care and the weakening of their protections in their relationship with their insurance companies. we've got to make that case, and we're going to make that case in the next 30 days. we've got two more debates to come. i know the president is very much looking forward to seeing governor romney again. he's gotten a good look at the romney routine. and now we'll have another engagement. and i think it will be really
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interesting. >> david axelrod, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. >> okay, guys. >> we'll see you soon. >> thanks for having me. good to see you. up next from the romney campaign, senior adviser ed gillespie joins us from denver. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
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all right. 34 past the hour. joining us now from denver, romney campaign senior adviser ed gillespie. ed, good morning. great to have you on the show. i'm wondering -- >> good morning, thank you. >> -- if they put four extra shots in mitt romney's coffee. >> i was talking to ed this morning. he said you know, everything you saw last night, it was all because of me. >> that's ed. >> we were talking about so many things here. talking about how extraordinarily well prepared he was, how he delivered. but instead of us just talking, "the wall street journal" says this was the best republican performance in a debate since 1980. that's what i was thinking last night watching it. bill kristol said the best in a quarter century. we've all been from "the wall street journal" to bill kristol to me and other conservatives,
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we've been throwing a lot of darts at you guys, but wow! what a difference one night made. >> well, i think it did make a difference. i do think there's a sense of, you know, a dynamic shift in the campaign. and i know there's a lot of talk about the style, and governor romney was clearly very much in command of the facts last night and had solutions. but i think the big thing was he laid out a very clear choice and a big choice. and that's what this election is about. it was the substance of the debate that i think mattered most, the competing view of what is best for getting our country going again. do we want to have, you know, $2 trillion in tax increases hitting the middle class at $4,000 per, you know, per family? or are we going to have tax relief for the middle class? are we going to bring down rates and broaden the base to get economic growth going again? are we going to continue to have higher health insurance premiums under obamacare as we've seen in the past four years, or are we going to have market-oriented reforms that will inject competition that will hold costs down?
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it was a is he substantive debate last night, and i think that's why governor romney did so well, because a lot of people saw him for the first time, not in a 30-second attack ad or a 12-second snippet on the news, but got to hear him directly. i think it was a good thing. >> well, you certainly are going to be hearing from the obama campaign today. we heard it from david axelrod, and you probably have been hearing it all night. focusing in on that $5 trillion number the president said repeatedly that mitt romney was going to cut taxes by $5 trillion and blow a hole in the federal deficit. and the question remains, how does that get paid for? what's the answer moving forward? because it seems to me that's going to be the huge challenge for the romney campaign if we want to continue this momentum. >> sure. and the governor address it had last night, you heard him talk quite a bit about his plans for tax reform to bring down rates 20% across the board. it's not a tax cut for a lot of people. if you're in the middle class, you'll get tax relief to
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encourage investment, savings, capital gains, dividends. but otherwise it's going to broaden the base. we've done this in the past, as you know, joe. and it has resulted in economic growth, and there are six different studies that have said you can do this without raising taxes on anyone in a deficit-neutral manner. and that's what the governor's going to do. you know, people say you should put out this specific or that specific, and he's talked about general principles. when ronald reagan reformed the tax code with tip o'neill as governor romney pointed out last night, you do that in a collaborative way, and you work, you know, transparentally and in a process that respects both sides. if you negotiate this in the midst of a campaign, you lock in democrats on one side, republicans on the other. you make it impossible to get it done. but we have ample evidence, six different studies, very credible, that say it can be done. and the governor's laid out the principles to get it done. >> so ed, a lot of folks were frustrated with the president's performance last night. joe klein wrote this.
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"why didn't the president do this? mitt, you're selling a fantasy. bill clinton prove it had it. he raised taxes on the wealthy and the economy boom. george bush lowered taxes and the economy tanked. how is your plan any different than bush's? actually, the president did say something like that, but it was well past most americans' bedtimes, about an hour into debate and he didn't do it clearly." let me ask you, how is romney's plan any different than bush's? >> well, what the governor made clear last night is that this is a revenue-neutral tax reform. so it does bring down rates by 20%. but it also closes loopholes and eliminates special interest, you know, deductions and things like that. and that has a growth impact because it allows for more private sector investment and, you know, kind of gets the government out of picking winners and losers and steering the money and lets private sector individuals make those decisions. so it's not as he made clear
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last night, when you lower the rates and broaden the base, it's revenue neutral. except at the end of the day, you end up with more taxpayers, more people are higher incomes and do you get more revenue out of it, but it's not the same thing as has been proposed in the past on either side as the governor made clear last night. >> ed, good morning, it's willie geist. you touched on this a little bit. we were talking about the tax plan. $5 trillion over ten years, not $5 trillion in one year. and to achieve, to make up for that by closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions. why the reluctance from the campaign, and specifically from mitt romney, to identify at least a handful so a voter who's looking, perhaps an undecided voter, can decide whether or not i want to vote for that guy because i don't want to lose that deduction or have that loophole closed? why won't he just announce a couple of them? >> well, he talked about the principles and everything, but willie, you know, if you negotiate this now, you and me on the set or candidates in
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campaigns across the country, you end up locking people in in positions in a political environment that makes it impossible to govern, that makes it impossible to bring people together because they make campaign commitments right away in a campaign environment in a polarized environment. governor romney wants to be elected president because he wants to govern and get things done. he did that in massachusetts. he was able to work with a democratic legislature -- 87% of the state house and state senate in massachusetts, when he was the republican governor, were democrats. and yet they were able to cut taxes 19 times and get things done. they improved the bond rating for the state of massachusetts, by the way. they got an upgrade. we've seen a downgrade in the united states. they saw household incomes go up under governor romney's time in office by $5,000. household incomes have gone down by $4,300 under president obama. unemployment went down to 5.6% under governor romney in massachusetts. it's gone up to above 8% under president obama. he knows how to govern. and he knows how to lay out the
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principle, bring people together to achieve those goals in the legislative process, and that's what he's going to do here for america if he's elected. >> i understand that, but briefly, ed, doesn't a voter deserve to know which loophole he will or will not have if he votes for mitt romney? >> well, you know, he talked about last night, you heard him put out, you know, the concept of maybe you would cap the level of deductions so you wouldn't, you know, necessarily eliminate a loophole, you would limit how much of them -- how many deductions you could take. that would give people discretion. you could figure out how high that should be. should it be a percentage of income? should it be a set figure? there are a lot of ways you can get these things done, willie. but again, if you do it in a campaign environment, you say here's this one, here's that one and people lock in on one side or the other against it, that's not the way to get things done. and that's the governor's goal here is to actually, you know, solve the problems. i think you saw that last night. he laid out a vigorous agenda going forward for job creation
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and for reducing our debt, getting us to a balanced budget. you didn't hear much from president obama about a second-term agenda. and frankly, you didn't hear much of a solid defense of his first-term agenda because the governor's critique of it was very fact based. and i think that was one of the sharp contrasts people saw last night. >> ed gillespie, congratulations. and i can congrat lay yulate yo republican say you won the debate, you won the debate. >> thanks for coming on the show. >> congratulations. when we come back, we've got editor of "the new yorker" david remmick and steve schmidt. up next, he is cheering for the university of denver. >> he was there. now he's here. >> yeah, boy. >> how'd you do that? >> took the red-eye, mark halperin straight off of the red-eye back from his denver with his debate report card. we'll be right back on "morning joe." ♪
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four years ago, i said that i'm not a perfect man and i wouldn't be a perfect president. and that's probably a promise that governor romney thinks i've kept. but i also promised that i'd fight every single day on behalf of the american people, the middle class and all those who are striving in the middle class. i've kept that promise. and if you'll vote for me, then i promise i'll fight just as hard in a second term. >> welcome back to "morning joe." with us now, msnbc and "time" magazine senior political analyst, mark halperin. he is back. he's got some gear. so mark, what do you have for us? >> from the university of denver, and i told them i was leaving the debate to come straight here, they said, why, joe, willie and mika should have some debate gear. >> well, thank god you got a
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relaxed fit. >> here's the small for you. >> thank you. i love it. >> and you gentlemen may want to adjudicate this in prift. we ha private. we have an xl and an xxl. >> that would be joe. >> that's hurtful. >> thank you, mark halperin. >> i got nothing. >> i love it. thank you so much. >> squat. >> the courtesy from our friends at the university of denver. >> you said yesterday morning the romney people were exhausted. they looked miserable. what a difference 12 hours makes. >> yeah. i mean, look, they put in a lot of effort. and one of the things that is true -- not spin on either side -- is the president had to cancel some of his sessions. and governor romney, we all sort of made fun of them when they went holed up in vermont for three days, but it has been said all along, when this guy has time to prepare, he's very good. it's also been widely reported that the romney people were in the spin room the minute the debate ended. and it took a while for the obama people to come in.
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>> they looked stunned. the obama people looked stunned. >> i think they're going to have to come down off this notion of this was all just about how mitt romney, you know, gave some good one-liners. they've got a problem now that's going to sustain for a couple weeks. until the president -- until and unless the president performs better in the next debate, they've got a problem. >> what happened? what happened to the president? joe klein said it was the worst performance he's seen in a presidential debate. you know, a lot of other people are saying mitt romney delivered the best performance by a republican since 1980. you had a lot of things colliding last night. >> i think the president -- you know, his rhetorical skills are often overrated. he's not that great a debater. he hasn't been in a debate of any sort for a good, long while. i don't know this from my reporting, but my sense is, it seems obviously true, it took it a little bit for granted. he's so confident that mitt romney's budget ideas are film
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flam that i thought he could come in and say what he sees so clearly that they've been doing so effectively in advertising and on the stump and that would paek all the difference. >> doesn't it sometimes require that you say listen, you're simply not telling the truth,sa telling the truth. your facts are wrong. he should have gone after him and actually pointed out massive inconsistencies or untruths and actually said it aggressively. no? why not? >> i think one of the things governor romney did well is made his points aggressively without rancor. the president just didn't want to get involved in creating big moments. he wanted no big moments. there really weren't big moments. but he let himself be overrun. it's extraordinary to have an incumbent president be dominant in terms of holding the stage, demanding the stage. governor romney dominated the debates, almost all the debates.
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people said, well, they weren't one-on-one. mostly they were. in the debates that mattered. he was one-on-one with rick perry and one-on-one with santorum. and the moderators treated it that way. he is underrated. his performance skills is underrated hen he has time to prepare. we'll see what happens in the next few weeks. the president will be under pressure. >> what now? what does the romney campaign do with this? >> i have a list of sort of what now questions up on the page. let's see how big the crowds are. let's see if the press has a bit of a a love affair with him. let's see if he can take the skills and the level of performance he had and translate it to interview and add on the stump. let's see if democrats start to panic. and let's see if chicago decides
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in the next 24 or 48 hours to say we need to turn the page with something new. another video or some other thing. but personal and performance matters. if governor romney can sustain his performance the president faces a lot of pressure. >> let's see if mitt romney can find the unforced error that plagued him in the campaign. people are like, well, whatever. >> you know, there have been times in mitt romney's run especially in the primary where he would have a big win and step on it the next day. >> notice he's not doing interviews this morning. >> which is smart. where is he when he comes here?
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that guy on stage can do that in an interview, can he not? >> usually you see transformation at the convention. that's usually when somebody transforms into being presidential. that didn't happen for mitt romney. it happened last night. i think you're going to see a big change moving forward. >> stay with us. and thank you for the t-shirt. we love them. still ahead, chuck todd and andrea mitchell. keep it here on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. governor of getting it done.
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straight ahead on "morning joe", the man who predicted the changing of mitt romney. governor chris christie joins us. we'll ask him to look into a crystal ball on what's next in the presidential campaign. we're back in just a moment. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
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does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of wall street? because if you do, then governor romney is your candidate. >> i will not reduce the share paid by high income individuals. i know you and your running mate keep saying that. i know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it's not the case. look, i've got five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true but keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping i'll believe it. >> for 18 months he's been running on a tax plan. now five weeks before the election he's saying his big bold idea is never mind. >> did you get a deduction for taking a plan overseas. i've been in business 25 years.
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i have no idea what you're talking about. maybe i need a new accountant. the idea you get a break for shipping jobs overseas. >> you can have your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts. i don't have plans to cut education funding. i'm planing to continue to grow. is the program so critical it's worth buying money from china to pay for it? obama care is on my list? i apologize, mr. president. i use that term with all respect. >> i like it. >> i'll get rid of that. >> i don't know what he was doing out there. he was enduring the debate, rather than fighting it. romney came in with a campaign. he had a plan. he was going to dominate the time. he was going to be aggressive. he was going to push the moderator around. he was really enjoying it. the latest we got from romney is he wants to shore poor people in the emergency room. why didn't obama say that? they're part of your 47%.
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you want to drop them from the list of eligible americans. you don't have care for these people. we have it on tape, governor. you've written off 47% of the country before you even started. where was obama tonight? i love the split screen. romney staring at obama, addressing him like the prey. i'm coming at an incumbent. i'm going to beat him tonight. i don't care about this moderator guy. i'm going to ignore him. what was romney doing? he was winning. good morning. time to wake up and get out of bed. take a live look at new york city. welcome back to morning joe. back with us onset we have mike barnacle. >> can we go right there? >> we got to set this up first.
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we've all been saying the same thing around the set. phone calls coming in all last night from democratic friends, my independent friends, republicans. where does this come from? we've never seen this mitt romney before. but you say you have. >> yes, this is how mitt romney became governor of massachusetts in 2002 during a series of debates. he was exactly this way, as he was last night. he came in prepared. he had a plan. he executed it. he was armed with specific information. he went right at the opponent. then it was the governor running against him. he did that again last night, very effectively. >> and he seemed, for the first time, comfortable in his skin. we've been pounding mitt romney, despite what cheetos eaters thought on the internet, because he had a horrible, horrible month. he was uncomfortable in his skin. last night that guy was -- i
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agree, the best republican debate in over 20 years. i would say you have to go back to 1980s to find a debate that good. i don't know where mitt romney has been u, but my god, he showed up last night. >> he was comfortable. his jokes were funny. he wasn't forced. he wasn't stilted. and he came with information. that was an incredible substantive debate on both sides. >> william, i'm so glad you said that. middle of the debate. we've been trashing both camps. i looked up at the scream and said oh my god. we have two really intelligent guys here. one guy extraordinarily successful in the business world. and they're fighting out two world views.
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>> president obama was not ready for this mitt romney. mitt romney was well prepared. he came with tacts. he came with the argument. you may not agree with all of them. in terms of pure debating, he out debated the president. >> there's no question. and it is two stories. mitt romney brought his a game. he prepared a lot for the debate, and he showed. he had a plan. he had a strategy, and he got out there and got it done. then there's the other story, the president's incredibly passive performance. the body lang wj was really striking. governor romney engaging with him. engaging with the audience. president obama looking down during the debate. i have a memory of 2008 where we remember the first debate with obama and john mccain, where mccain did not make eye contact for much of the debate with obama. looking down. surprised by romney's strength
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and not engaged. >> he was intense. he leaned in. it was like he had a lot of coffee before the debate. and he was just going after the president. my question for you, joe, is why can't he transfer this to the campaign trail sf. >> that's what everybody said last night. i think he was comfortable talking about facts. talking about information. i don't think -- >> he wasn't explaining a lot of stuff. >> just hanging out with the kids. >> we're talking about speeches and rallies, things people want to hear. i bet the americans watching last night are the same people going to the rallies. they want to hear more. >> and that's a challenge for mitt romney. you heard that after everybody got over the shock of how great mitt romney and did and how poorly the president did. now can he convert this?
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>> so everyone is saying mitt romney is having a hard time. he didn't have a friend out there. no one thought he could do it except for one guy. >> a voice in the wilderness. >> it was just this lonely guy who just stepped out there. >> wearing sack cloth and ashes. >> joining us on the phone from "morning joe" exclusive, the man who predicted a game changing performance in last night's debate. republican governor of new jersey, governor chris christie. chris, you happen to be right. >> good morning, mika. good morning, joe. >> what happened? you have a crystal ball? >> no. >> i just don't think anybody else was paying attention. every time he had a back up against the wall and then had a debate, he came out with a game changing debate. ask rick perry. ask gingrich. every time he's done it.
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on said i said what i believe. i've seen this guy do it before. and i think he's going to do it again. he did last night. >> what happened to this the president? everybody is stunned. supporters are more -- and it's so strange how the shoe is suddenly on the other foot. we republicans have been so frustrated that mitt romney has not been able to press our case on why the past four years haven't worked. last night the democrats so frustrated about the fact that the president couldn't press his case. why do you think the president was so flat? >> you can't answer that question. at the end of the day, governor rom cay came out and sees the argument on the substance, which is i've heard all kinds of complaints about governor romney. last night he came out and said, here's where i want to take america. here's my vision, and i don't think the president was ready to answer that.
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again, when you have no record to run on it's very difficult to combat what romney did last night. i thought the president had no energy. it didn't look like he wanted to engage governor romney. and the fact of the matter is you can't beat the champ on points. mitt romney hit a knockout last night. >> yes, he did. new jersey governor, you are right. you are right about this one. >> i have confidence with this guy. i've been with him since last october. this is no crystal ball moment. i watched him over the last year and a quarter. and every time his back is really against the wall, and it was last night. the guy has come out with a great debate performance. you heard mike this morning saying the same thing happened in massachusetts.
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this guy is competitive and a winner. that's what he did. >> all right. chris, come on the show some time. >> you bet i will. >> talk to you soon. >> i want to hear from him. >> that is so interestingful you do wonder how he's been this successful, mitt romney, throughout life. and yet he seemed so awkward on the campaign trail. >> so awkward. you saw him in 2002. he showed up last night. >> one nugget out of last night's debate, and i'm sure you picked it up. he spoke about monday morning meetings. and that's how to get things done. i don't know if that resonates for people watching and listening. he just wants to get a job done. this is not ideology. this is observation. >> i agree.
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let's go to john meacham in nashville. john, of course, karl rove said, london, you're not going to see a huge swing in the polls. maybe one, maybe two points. it's the first of four debates. but it's a great start for mitt romney. we remember in 2004, george w. bush was o blib rate eobliterat. remember, looking in the camera and going, it's hard. it's hard. and he still won. so this keeps the game going, right sfl. >> it does. i kept thinking of mark twain. the rumors of romney's political death were greatly exaggerated. but twain still died. >> mark twain, dead.
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still dead. >> but i thought it was as -- >> he's funnier in central time zone. >> you should see the statue of willie geist. >> i'm going to site the person who knows most about politics in my life. my 8-year-old daughter who asked, why is president obama so mad? and i think that's a really georgia, you know, good way of putting it. it looked as though he was at the wrong debate, he was in parallel play. and he had the classical presidential case of no one has spoken to him that way in four years. >> stop and say that again. chris matthews said it last night. maybe he was hailed at chief one too times.
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>> no one has spoken to him that way. no one has tried to interrupt him in four years. think it showed. >> that's what happens. emp agrees with you. it's hard to the say to the president, you're wrong, sir. no one interrupts you. no one tries to tell you control the room. that's the power of the presidency. he hasn't had an argument since john mccain in the third debate in 2008. a real argument of this kid kind. you're fighting for time. you're fighting for control of the room. it's not something a president has to do. >> any president, any governor, any senator, you're almost indignant that somebody would challenge you because you're you.
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a president is just isolated. and i think john is exactly right. nobody has talked to him this way in four years. >> we all know the presidency is a bubble. you exist in that bubble. we also know from your reporting and other reporting that we read continually that there's little interaction between this president and members of the senate and members of the house. there's little personal interaction. there's no phone calls back and forth. we don't know where will what happens. but we do know from last night when mitt romney says i don't know what you're talking about, we do know the look that registered on president obama's face was, you know, who are you to be saying that to me? there's another element here. john meacham is right. nobody has spoken to him this way in four years. there's another element here.
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the president had no teleprompter last night. he speaks almost all the time off of a tele prompter. forced now to stand on his feet after four years in the bubble, getting pushed back a little, he didn't do too well. >> even bill maher had to point out this was a rough one for the president. obama looks like he does need a te teleprompter. let's look how this played out and let the viewer decide. the president and mitt romney got into it on a number of issues. taxes, debt and the middle class. >> this is where there's a difference because governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the bush tax cuts. that's another trillion dollars. and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. that's $8 trillion.
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how we pay for that, reduce the deficit and make the investments that we need to make without dumping those costs onto middle class americans is one of the central questions of this campaign. >> middle income americans are buried. they've been crushed. middle income americans have seen their income down by $4,300. this is a tax in it of itself. i'll call it the economy tax. gas prices are up, food prices are up. health care costs have gone up by $2500 a family. middle income families are being crushed. the question is how to get them going again. >> a lot of this is just the style of it. also he was writing a lot. his head was down instead of engaging when you're debating. i have to say that mitt romney knew how to do that. how to get right in there and look right at him. and hen they was able to sort of
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gain control of the narrative. so to speak. because he didn't explain a lot about what he plans to do. especially on taxes. but you were left not thinking of those questions. >> and barack obama is looking down. and chris matthews said, what is he doing? writing notes for the next debate. >> the split screens were jarring a little bit. one thing to point out. it was not only a substantive but civil debate. mitt romney's congratulations about the anniversary felt heartfelt. the way president obama looked at him and nodded quite often. they went at it. but they did it in a civil way. the one thing that was not there that we took for granted was the 47% comment. i thought that was going to be the theme. >> why not hammer that home?
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>> i think part of the thing going on is a lot of his debate prep was designed to make sure that he preserved the main asset of the race, his likability. he does not like mitt romney at all. he has a lot of contempt for mitt romney. i think his preparation is do not show that. you don't want to beat on him. don't take cheap shots. try to maintain the likability thing. and i think a lot of obama is, it didn't work. >> much more on last night's debate, when we come back. and former strategist for the mccain campaign, steve schmidt joins us. first bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning to you, mika. it's a long winter in fargo and north dakota. but a snowstorm on october 4th is bad by their standards. this is a picture from the webcam.
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that snow accumulating on the ground. the sun is trying to come up. at least getting brighter. the heavy band of snow is going to push through northern minnesota. right over fargo, too. temperatures are borderline there. hopefully the interstate isn't too bad for the morning trip. we have rain through new england. the least thing we're thinking about is cold air and snow. it's warm and humid. temperatures in the 70s and 80s today. but we will be ducking in and out of the showers. minor airport delays are possible. look at the htemperatures. 84 with mostly cloudy skies. we have two more warm days and this weekend things will significantly cool off on the east coast. on sunday highs in the 50s and 60s. beautiful weather for your thursday in the deep south. chicago, 75 today. tomorrow a high of only 56. the east coast gets a last taste of summer. 82 in new york city for your
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the president began this segment so i think i get the last word. >> you're going to get the first word of that segment. >> i get the last word of that
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segment. >> let me make this comment. i'm going to stop the subsidy of pbs. i love big bird. i actually like you, too. but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it. if that's the thing, it will be the best product people will purchase. my experience is the private sector is typically able to provide a better product at a lower cost. >> can the two of you agree that the voters have a clear choice on medicare? >> absolutely. >> let's mention the other one. >> no, no, let's not. >> the last point i would make before -- >> your minute is up. >> i had five seconds before you interrupted me. >> joining us from denver. chief correspondent and host of the daily rundown, chuck todd also. chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of andrea mitchell reports, ann ddrea
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mitchell. former campaign strategist steve schmidt. >> chuck todd, chuck todd, when have i been this surprised? when has the whole class been surprised? you have to go back to tokyo. and you just sit there going where in the hell did that come? where did that come from? >> come on now. mitt romney is a much better heavyweight fighter than buster douglas ever was. >> that's not the comparison. you can't believe the champ was
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taken down and made to look so little. >> listen, you can probably go through this. this is sort of the obama folks are going to console themselves this morning. this is the first presidential debate featuring an incumbent president where the challenger won. you go to reagan. you go to bush in '92. not clinton in '96. go to kerry in '04 and go to today. you got to say, is there something to it? where the incumbent sits there? annoyed he's on equal footing. out of practice, number two. and number three, sort of shackled in by how he knows the job is. not how he wishes the job was or what he was hoping it would be when he was a candidate. throw that all aside. mitt romney didn't just didn't
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just get himself a second look. the second most important thing that came out of the debate is it gave the republican party and it gave candidates down the ballot hope. something to believe in. and there was a lot of fear, a lot of fear from a a bunch of republicans here in denver saying i'm so relieved. i feared obama would win the debate and there would be a collapse of the republican ticket. >> there has to be something to it in the coming days. i look forward to hearing from former presidential advisers saying there's something about an incumbent president's first debate. back from the bubble after four years. in '92, george h. w. bush looking at his watch seeming bored being there.
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and '04, george w. bush turning in a terrible performance. asking for time and mumbling about how it's hard. it's happened again. there has to be something to it to make the sitting president ill equipped to fight back in the first debate. >> a couple of things. meacham had it right when he said he's been locked up in the oval office, and no one challenges a sitting president. that's exactly what also took place. also he was coached to be cool and calm. not let mitt romney get under his skin. he wasn't looking at him enough. in the split screen by looking down he looked like he was avoiding the gaze of the viewer. he was completely disconnected as a television moment. this reminded me in -- john
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meacham's 8-year-old daughter saying why is president obama so mad? mitt romney, smiling even when he was being tough and aggressive. he didn't look at he was being distant to the president of the united states. if you look at it from a fact check point of view as i argued in realtime last night, neither of them really answered very tough questions. president obama said he would tweak social security. what does that mean. we all know that's not true. mitt romney on his taxes, that doesn't add up. he wasn't specific about what deductions, although he said there would be deductions eliminated. simpson/bowles. mitt romney saying he had a different plan. and president obama saying he
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went with simpson/bowles, but he didn't. ask them if president obama embraced them in the rose garden. it's still a campaign or a debate about nothing. but mitt romney did better. >> you know, the specifics are very hazy. but david remnick, a big choice between two governing philosophi philosophies. if conservatives think we're going to balance a budget by cutting big bird, they have no idea what they're talking about. but mitt romney by saying that last night connected dots to governing philosophy. i was glad to hear him say that. >> he did that in a very benign way. he didn't fess up to his tax plan.
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it's difference in performing. performtively, the president of the united states did not show up. he absorbs blows and blows and blows and tires the other guy out and then mocks out george foreman. the second part never happened. obama was really passive. annoyed looking. looking away. >> joe called it the worst performance ever seen in a debate. i'm not sure if it's not the worth performance by obama. against hillary clinton he wasn't a great debater. i have to look at tapes of obama as a debater in congressional races and state senate, he wasn't great. he's a speech maker.
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as a debater, he's never been good at all. laz night he outdid himself. he had so many allies to go down. whether about women. whether about 47%. whether it was about the fuz fuzziness of romney's policy suggestions on taxes. romney's suggestion the auto business bankrupt. he did not show up. he has to next time. the that you're going to see by tuesday is going to be significant in a lot of states. >> and also the swing in attitude. you look at the wall street journal editorial page. the best republican performance since 1980. bill crystal was saying the same thing last night. i was saying the same thing. i said, this is the best i've seen a republican do since 1980. >> in a generation.
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i've been very critical. bill crystal has been critical. conservatives have been critical. why can't mitt romney connect the dots? last night he did. how important is that -- forget the state by state -- just in getting people excited to go to the phones. how important is that? >> this great depression that's been hanging around the republican party, all the down ballot races, it's gone. it's lifted. it's over. hope has been restored in the race. i said a month ago when bill clinton did his convention speech shlgs it was one of the great convention speeches ever. it was one of the great debate performances that anyone has ever seen on mitt romney's part last night. then the president, on the other hand, with an extremely poor
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performance. so i think you're going to see a closing of the numbers. you're going to see a reset on the race. barack obama had the ability to put the race away. he didn't. he let mitt romney back in the game. all the sins of the past month were erased. >> because there was substance that the president could have seized upon and capitalized on it. >> you know, there was. i was amazed how poorly he defended dodd-frank. mitt romney philosophically went after it. that was just among the examples. i think the best example of showing sort of the head scratching ways of the president and he was against mitt romney, he did an entire hit about mitt romney. an entire description of the bush tax cuts.
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never used the political weapons what's weird is the obama aides insisted they learned the lessons of bush '04. that they weren't going to do that, they were going to be more aggressive. that he want going to play it safe four corners. i think the president wept own there and did his own thing. what the president thought he was going to do and what he ended up doing is two different thicks. >> it's difficult to defend certain aspects of his record. i think governor romney skillfully took advantage of that. the weakest moments when he was trying to defend his record and
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talk about what he would do in the future. >> and when you have two people not laying things out specifically you're up on a stage defensively for the entire time. as david said, rope-a-dope without the knockout punch. >> he didn't have a good closing two minutes. the fact he had not rehearsed a good closing argument. he knew he would have two minutes at the end to close. there was no narrative. there was no flow to it. there wasn't a strategy. the fact that he didn't bring up the women's issues, which were very powerful for them on the campaign trail and not mentioning the 47%. we have plenty of advertisements on the air making that point.
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more than 60 million people may not have seen the advertisement and would see the performance. >> who is this debate about last night? the debate is not about people who made their minds up. the debate is about the middle piece of this in the states that we all know. and a lot of those people, a hell of a lot of those people are in that 47% of people that mitt romney in his own words how this doesn't come up in a debate is conscious on president obama's part. it's strange. >> let's talk about the closing quickly. it reminded me again of 1984 when ronald reagan rambles in his closing. you sit there and go, my god, he knew this was coming.
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barack obama knew his closing was coming. and it was just so flat. >> i can't disagree. >> was this as bad as the convention was for the republicans? >> worse. >> much worse. y it was seen by much more people. they're both there head to head. and mitt romney was reasonable. he wascompassionate. he was in touch with the middle class. he sounded like he knew what he was talking about. he seemed like a guy with a plan to turn the country around. but when it comes down to the substance of what he had to say about the so called plans on tax cuts. but that was the job of the president of the united states to draw it out. >> and chuck todd, what's so
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fascinating is usually you move to the middle. you start the general election campaign at the convention. mitt romney started it last night. ed gillespie talking about mitt romney is being combative. we said this morning and mitt romney said last night, he will get things done. and we had some movement also -- sort of that -- maybe the etch a sketch moment last night. he started the general election campaign. >> there are a couple of things that he put himself in. it put them in ungovernable situation. this pledge, nobody gets a tax cut if it adds to the deficit. and no taxes at all as part of a
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deficit reduction. one of the ways you know the obama campaign is going to try to salvage what was a stylistic disaster last night. they're going to try to have the debate and say wait a minute, how does that compute? they're going to try to have the bill clinton math argument. the president didn't draw it out. >> if you can't engage on that level, if you can't get in there and engage, then perhaps the problem people will tie that performance to his inable to get things done in washington. that makes me sick to my stomach. chuck todd, thank you. what's so funny?
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>> i'm sorry. >> he had a cat strask economy. did an enormous amount to rescue it from getting worse and worse and worse. >> i don't know. it's going to have to be fixed. >> all right. we'll be right back. brian shactman is next. "morning joe" returns in a moment. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got. it takes passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. at unitedhealthcare insurance company,
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time for business before the bell with brian shactman. >> good morning, mika. thank you very much. we have job let claims just a little bit ago. ticked up 4,000. but a little bit better than expected mpl tomorrow's government jobs report has huge political implications. i know we're tight on time. facebook hit a billion users today, guys. and also they're going to start testing out, you can pay $7 to get whatever post you have prominently positioned in your friends' news feed. so have a garage sale for the red sox stuff you haven't worn since april, let your friends know it's available. >> i would never. a billion users. 14 click on the app 6r789s
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upfection, a lot of baseball to watch this weekend. jack, you're a little boring.
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[ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] stop it. we can't talk about it, but the onion had a very good night last night. >> stop it. >> the onion had a really good night last night. >> why don't you show everybody? >> because we can't. >> you have to go to theonion.com. >> there's children watching. >> really? morning show with children. maybe not watching. >> there was a zinger. >> i practiced that all day. here it is. they're upset. okay. the orioles an the rangers. the rangers blew the 13 game
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lead. the a's won the division. last game of the season. now they go into a one-game playoff. the a's play the tigers. over on the national league side, the nats with the braves and the cards. and the cincinnati reds. >> the reds are a great team. >> great team. thank you so much. on behalf of yankee fans everywhere.
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check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. well, we learned a lot today. what did you learn? >> last night was a good night for mitt. now it's about what he does with
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it over the next five weeks or so. >> mike, what did you learn? >> the metaphor is to describe buster douglas, rope a dope, you missed a really good one. ali. boom. when ali put the champ down. >> he used the 2002 tapes. >> from john meacham. mark twain is, in fact, dead. >> what did you learn? >> good night for mitt. >> yeah, what the president does and also how mitt romney leverages with moving forward. we have a reset. but he's got to avoid the mistakes. are those tomorrow? >> yeah. tomorrow. that's why he didn't want to slide back. the rangers